Category Archives: Art

Patreon made it easier to troll its users

Scott Helme is a Information Security Consultant. He has a Patreon account on which he posts about computer security issues and which he uses to take in donations for each blog post.  Recently he found out that Patreon suspended his account:

He could still post and people could still signup to support him, but, taking a page from Paypal, Patreon prevented him from withdrawing any of the money people donated.  Eventually, Patreon completed their investigation and emailed him that he was good to go.  He eventually discovered that:

He estimates that account withdrawals were suspended for between 18 and 47 days.

Account takeovers are a real problem. Had his account been taken over, it would be good if someone couldn’t take his money out and notifying the account that they think it might be hacked could tip the hacker.  In that light, it could make sense to act as they did.

Having multiple other methods of contacting the user would have helped in this case…. well unless email, phone number and Signal were compromised. Patreon would need to prove they are who they say they are, of course. Phishing is a problem as well.

That all said, going from one fraudulent pledge to account takeover seems a stretch.

But this incident reminded me of Violet Blue‘s reporting in Engadget about a troll campaign against women AMSR video creators:

Capitalizing on entrenched and easily exploitable anti-sex policies by internet giant payment processors and a new internet sex panic ushered in by FOSTA, 8chan trolls have started a campaign to mass-report attractive women who make ASMR videos. Listing names of women making these sound-effect videos in a forum thread called “PayPal lowering the hammer on ASMRtits” they’ve declared war by posting links to report pages for PayPal, and called upon fellow haters to get the women kicked off YouTube and Patreon as well.

… and that Patreon just added another method for trolls to harass Patreon’s users.  If all it takes is for one fraudulent looking donation to pass into someone’s account to flip the Account Hacked bit, trolls will use Patreon’s process to suspend a user’s ability to withdraw their money for two to six weeks. That would screw up the life of anyone who makes a living via Patreon.

Patreon has more than a customer service problem.

Warship Wednesday: USS Monsoor

Back in August I visited Bath with my eldest to see the ships Bath Iron Works was creating.  This included the Zumwalt-class destroyers USS Michael Monsoor and USS Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as the  Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, USS Hudner and USS Daniel Inouye.

The best way to photograph the ship yard was to take the Maine Maritime Museum‘s hour long Shipyards & Lighthouses boat tour.

Bath Maine

USS Monsoor

The tour turns away from the ship yard and travels down the Kennebec River before returning, sailing past the ship yard to the Sasanoa River, turning around and traveling past Bath Iron Works to the museum.

Bath Maine

Bath Maine

I started the voyage with my 55-300mm lens. I got some photos of the various buildings along the river as well as some pictures of the ships under construction.

Bath Maine

USS Monsoor

As we approached the ship yard, I switched to my 18-105mm lens.  Unfortunately, I realized too late that the 2nd lens was set to manual mode with vibration reduction turned off.  Ooops! Reminder to self: recheck that the camera and lenses are setup the way they should be before leaving.

USS Monsoor

Bath Maine

USS Monsoor

Later in the day, we surveyed various vantage points across from the ship yard. After parking at the Dairy Queen near Sasanoa Point, I walked along the Sagadahoc bridge (Route 1) over the Kennebec. While very few people walked over the bridge while I was there, there wasn’t much space for a tripod, so I shot handheld. With the late afternoon sun high in the sky and the air over the river hazy from the August sun, very few of the pictures came out well.

USS Monsoor

Railway Bridge Footing, Bath Maine

On a return trip to see the LBJ, now that it is in the water, I’ll aim to arrive before sunrise and try using a tripod since that helped with the USS Hudner pictures.  The rest of the pictures are at my Bath Iron Works photo album.

USS Hudner

The USS Hudner, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, was in Boston for its commissioning ceremony.  My son and I saw this ship in August when we travelled to Bath, Maine to photograph the Zumwalt destroyer, USS Monsoor.  However, many of the photographs of the Hudner came out poorly due to distance or an error on my part.

While it was in Boston, I was able to go on a public tour of the Hudner. Most of the photographs are from that outing.

USS Hudner

USS Hudner

USS Hudner Cannon

USS Hudner Bridge

USS Hudner

USS Hudner

The following Saturday, I planned to take pictures when the sun came up. I woke up early, but decided I wanted to sleep more and tried to get back to sleep. After 30 minutes of failing to get back to sleep, I got up, threw the previous day’s clothes on, gathered my camera equipment (except for my remote trigger) and drove to a spot across the Reserve channel, which I probably should not have.

I drove to the lobster boat pier, found a sign that said not to enter, and doubled back to another spot. I parked, gathered my equipment, walked near the waters edge and found a large barge in the way. I decided to try the lobster pier again and found that the do not enter sign applied to a different fenced area, so I drove in. After asking if it was ok to photograph in the area and getting an ok, I grabbed my gear, setup my tripod and took a bunch of photos.

USS Hudner

I watched as a Massachusetts Environmental Police boat appeared, came to the waters edge and dropped a Massachusetts Environmental Police officer off. We talked courteously and he went on his way.

Just then the light peaked through the clouds and lit up the Hudner.

USS Hudner

I got a few more shots of the ship and the surrounding seagulls and decided to drive home. I saw another spot outside the port on the drive home, but ignored it. Since this was likely the last time I would get a chance to photograph any Burke-class destroyer, I turned around and got a few more photos of the ship and a number of birds from a little park.

USS Hudner

USS Hudner Landing Pad

However, the light was higher and much more harsh, so the pictures aren’t nearly as good, unfortunately. You can find all of the pictures I posted at my Flickr album:

USS Hudner

2018 Honk! Parade Photos

On October 7th, I attended the Honk! Parade with some photographers from the Boston Area Photography Group meetup.

I used my 35mm lens for the photographs during setup, but switched to the 18-105mm lens once the parade started since the telephoto lens worked better with moving subjects. I set my camera to aperture priority mode, set it to f/8 and experimented with shifting my focus point. The Tony Northrup how-to video for my camera helped in ways the camera manual does not and I recommended it to one of my fellow photographers.

Here are a few of the pictures:

DSC_1355

DSC_1381

DSC_1540

DSC_1442

Of the 304 photographs I took, I selected 12 to clean up and post to this flickr album:

Honk 2018